Children who were orphans were often apprenticed or "bound out" to someone in the community to learn a trade. Males were usually bound out until they were 21 years old and females until they were 18 years of age. In addition to teaching the child a trade, the master was to provide the apprentice with food, clothing, lodging, medical attention and was to see that the apprentice was taught to read, write and learn arithmetic to and including the "Rule of Three." At the end of his service, the apprentice was to be given a new suit of clothing. Occasionally, the apprentice was to receive a sum of money in lieu of receiving an education. On his part, the apprentice was to keep his master's secrets and obey his commands, must not waste his master's goods or lend them without consent or visit taverns or tippling houses and could not contract marriage. The following information has been abstracted from Livingston County Court Order Book L (1851-1860) and Indentures of Apprenticeship Book 1834-1877 in the county clerk's office, Smithland, Kentucky.
John Wesley Malone, age 14 and the infant & orphan of Thomas Malone dec'd, was apprenticed to John H. Porter to learn the trade of a blacksmith, 7 Feb 1853.
Henry Harrison Malone, now age 12 and an infant & orphan of Thomas Malone dec'd, was apprenticed to John H. Porter to learn the trade of a blacksmith, 7 Feb 1853.
Mrs. Nancy Boyd, mother of Isaac Boyd, being summoned to shew cause why her son Isaac shall not be bound out and William Nelson signified his willingness to take Isaac as an apprentice to learn the trade of a farmer. Isaac is now age 10, 7 Feb 1853.
William Nelson released from the obligation of an indenture of apprenticeship entered into at the Feb term 1853 binding out Isaac Boyd. Charles G. Halstead signified his willingness to take Isaac as an apprentice to learn the trade of a farmer, 7 Mar 1853.
David Flournoy, Clerk of the Livingston County Court, agreeable to an order of court hath bound William B. Ferrill as an apprentice to Jeremiah Ferrill until 1 Feb 1867 at which time the apprentice will arrive at the age of 21, to learn the trade & mystery of a farmer, 4 Sep 1854.
John Hutchinson bound as an apprentice to Elzy J. Ross until 4 Sep 1867 at which time the apprentice will have arrived at the age of 21, to learn the trade of a farmer, 4 Sep 1854.
Indenture of Apprenticeship Book 1834-1877, page 94
Livingston County, KY Clerk's Office
Published 8 March 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/